EU medicines regulator updates on Pfizer vaccine safety
Good morning from London, where this is Ben Quinn picking up the blog now. Vaccines continue to feature heavily in news from the UK and the rest of Europe after it was announced that a new vaccine from Novavax has been shown to be 89% effective in preventing Covid-19.
The vaccine – which will be manufactured in the north east of England as well as at other locations and which has been found to have an 89 percent efficacy in trials – could be approved for use in the UK within weeks as late-stage trials.
But as a focus shifts towards how quickly coronavirus vaccines can be deployed across Europe almost a year on since the pandemic spread to this part of the world, the societal and economic costs continue to be grave.
Britain’s economy is suffering the most damage since the first wave of Covid-19 as persistently high infection rates and renewed lockdown measures delay the economic recovery from the pandemic, according to a Guardian analysis.
I’ll continue to bring you coverage from around the globe, as well as from here in the UK this morning. Events later today include (at local time):
• 9.30am: Results from from a weekly Covid-19 social impacts survey conducted by Britain’s Office of National Statistics (ONS)
• Noon: A weekly ONS Covid-19 infection survey
• 1215am A Welsh Government coronavirus briefing
• 2pm West Midlands Mayor coronavirus briefing;
• The latest ‘R rate’ is expected to be published on Friday afternoon
Also expected later today is an announcement by the the European Medicines Agency on the approved use – or otherwise – of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine across the European Union.
That announcement is coming at a time after the makers of the vaccine and UK government agencies have defended the vaccine’s efficacy after German authorities recommended it should not be used on people aged 65 or above, citing a lack of data.